News from Siân Berry: Londoners need homes not hovels

17 October 2016

Reacting to Shelter’s report revealing that 73% of Londoners homes do not meet a ‘Living Homes’ standards, London Assembly Member Sian Berry said:

“I welcome Shelter’s report because renting in London is in crisis and, as a renter in London for nearly 20 years, it’s important to bring the voices of London’s 2.3 million private renters into City Hall.

“Renters clearly need an organisation working on their behalf, listening to their issues and concerns and fighting for them to live in better conditions.

“Significantly, nearly six out of ten renters told me they would be prepared to pay a small fee to join a London-wide organisation that helped them in these ways.”

Sian Berry’s ‘What are London renters thinking?’ report, based on the results of her recent Big Renters Survey of London’s private tenants found that nine out of ten renters had experienced four or more serious problems during their time renting in London. 

At this week’s Mayor’s Question Time Sian will urge Sadiq Khan to ensure that the concerns of private renters in London are addressed by his housing policies.

One of 1,530 renters who filled out Sian’s survey has a typical story:

“Loose electrics in the shower meant we would get minor electric shocks whilst in the shower. Took months to get fixed. Had to shower with rubber gloves on because otherwise every time you’d touch the taps you’d be shocked.”

Notes to editors

A copy of the report is available here: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/sian_berry_renter_survey_report_oct2016_final.pdf

An interactive map of results by GLA constituency area is here: http://www.sianberry.london/big-renters-survey/results/

[1] Sian launched the Big Renters Survey in July: https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/assembly/sian-berry/launch-of-big-renters-survey-for-private-tenants

The full recommendations of the report are:

  1. Better engagement with renters
    Including seed funding a London-wide organisation to carry out research and investigations and provide a voice for renters in dealings with City Hall and councils
  2. More help and information for renters
    Provided by the GLA, with a central information source and links to existing groups and council schemes.
  3. Better regulation and support for landlords
    With support at the London level to ensure consistent council enforcement, training and licensing.
  4. Enhanced regulation of the sector nationally
    With continued pressure from the Mayor, Assembly and London’s borough councils for powers to be devolved to London.

Sixteen case studies are quoted in the report.

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